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Committee on Ethical Conduct determines Sen. Blyden violated Legislature Rules

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Senator Marvin A. Blyden
Senator Marvin A. Blyden

After a preliminary examination of the evidence, to include reviewing witness testimony, the 34th Legislature’s Committee on Ethical Conduct (CEC) has determined that grounds exist to move forward with a formal disciplinary hearing regarding the complaint that Senator Marvin A. Blyden is in violation of at least two of the rules governing the comportment of members of the body and breaking his sworn Oath of Office. During the hearing, Senator Blyden presented a defense of the complaint and will have another opportunity to provide a more formal response.

On Friday, October 8, 2021, Senator Blyden was served with a letter outlining the charges against him – all of which are related to failing to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Pursuant to the Legislature Rules, he now has up to 20 days to respond to the CEC’s “Statement of Alleged Violations”.

“Whether Senator Blyden chooses to formally answer to these charges or not, a disciplinary hearing will be held, and the Committee will make a final recommendation to the full body as to what punitive or corrective actions, if any, are most appropriate,” CEC Chairman Milton E. Potter said. "It is important to note that as an elected member of the Legislature, Senator Blyden is entitled to, and will continue to receive a fair hearing on all charges.”

“As I have said before, as elected officials we must hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Vice Chairman Kenneth Gittens said. “We would like to address this matter as quickly as possible, but we must follow the procedural Rules of the 34th Legislature. The sooner Senator Blyden answers these charges, the sooner we can bring this matter to final resolution.”

The CEC has charged Senator Blyden with breaking the Legislature’s rules for decorum and ethical conduct, as well as with violating the Oath of Office, in which elected officials swear to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the Virgin Islands.

“We have detailed these three charges in our letter to Senator Blyden,” Senator Potter concluded.

Members of the Committee on Ethical Conduct also include Senators Dwayne M. Degraff, Carla J. Joseph and Kurt A. Vialet.

Click here for list of charges.